With tears rolling down her cheeks, Zainab Salifu queued at the fevers unit of the Tamale Teaching Hospital in northern Ghana. Earlier in the day, the 18-year-old had been diagnosed HIV positive.
Maureen Phiri, 18, has a soft voice and a strong message about HIV and young people in her country. “In Malawi, people are still in denial because of cultural beliefs. Traditional leaders and churches are denying the disease. Let us gather those leaders and hear from young people what is really happening.”
Seventeen-year-old Natalie Mlambo* has two good reasons to get tested for HIV. She has two boyfriends and has unprotected sex with them. One is a high school classmate. The other is older, works in a bank, and can afford to give Mlambo small gifts and some money.
“Being in isolation to me felt like I was on an island all alone, dying a slow death from the inside out,” said “Kyle B.” from California, who was placed in solitary confinement before he turned 18.